Friday, October 26, 2012

Eat And Gripe

Eat when stressed. Well what more can I say except that the photo says it all. This was taken quite a while back but I came across this photo recently and had a good laugh. There were three of us, Tjun Hong and Leticia of Elysium Weddings and I. We were waiting for Leticia's client to come by for a fitting at That Special Occasion and she was caught in traffic. So we thought we'd grab a snack.

Well, it obviously turned out to be more than a snack. Since my days working in advertising, I've stuffed myself silly with food whenever stressed. I remember lunches where we'd gorge ourselves before returning to crazy afternoons at work. That habit has stayed with me all this while. It is not the healthiest of habits but what the heck. Thank goodness I swim regularly to work off the excesses.

This photo was taken while we were at Spicy Kitchen, just opposite That Special Occasion. Tjun Hong obviously packed some Burger King as well. To be fair, although we were relatively stressed, it was an enjoyable evening. Sometimes all it takes is food and some griping amongst good friends to relieve the tense situation.

Photo shot by Leticia.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

That Special Occasion's Mobile App

Those who know me well would not argue that I am not particularly tech savvy. Although I do own an Ipad, even then the original model, I have only very recently become the owner of a smartphone. I am not one who likes to be contactable at all times and I have for example always preferred answering emails in one sitting on my notebook. So the only reason why I now have a Samsung Galaxy S3 for company is to monitor That Special Occasion's mobile app which we just soft-launched last week. The app which is available for free download onto IOS and Android smartphones serves its purpose for now, but as always, we will strive to improve it further as we go along. We hope to add more features in time and hopefully make it available on tablets by the first quarter of 2013.

Back to my smartphone. One of the first people to whatsapp me was Alex Lam, exclaiming 'finally!'. Yes I know, it's taken quite some time, but I acknowledged with the response 'resistance is futile after a while'. The jokes continue coming in and I am happy to play along.

One thing hasn't changed though. I hate to read manuals. So, I am learning the functions on my Samsung by trial and error. And a warning to those who own a similar device, you may be in store for numerous whatsapp messages asking for advice, tips and solutions to my teething problems. Are you happy now?

That Special Occasion's mobile app.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Who Knew?

Who knew that a conver-sation over dinner could inspire me so much. Sometimes we get so caught up in the daily grind that we forget to live life. We forget to be thankful for the good in our lives. We forget the aspirations that we have set for ourselves to attain. We forget to put plans in place for the future. Forget is a pretty strong word to use. Perhaps relegate is more apt.

So here's what I learnt over dinner conversation. Lucky are those who have a family member who puts them first, who contributes to their financial stability and who acts as a good role model. Lucky are those who are wise enough to save, who plan for financial security. Lucky are those who have made it a point to experience travel, who put aside funds for worldly encounters. Lucky are those who despite having to face the realities of working life, still find time to exercise their artistic talents. Lucky are those who stand with both feet firmly on the ground, who have a sense of loyalty and honour. And lucky are those who appreciate their lot in life and who are content, who are happy.

It's time to reflect yes but more importantly it's time to take stock and live life.

Photo of Hoi An beach by my cousin Yeong Ken.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Authentic Experiences

I am always in search for authentic expe-riences when on holiday. Of course I do the touristy stuff, relax in comfort when the opportunity presents itself, shop, you know the drill, but the memorable experiences are the ones that are truly authentic, the ones that reflect the makeup of the country that one visits.

Sometimes it could be a chance encounter with the locals over a meal. A retail experience with talented artisans. A visit to a monument of historical and cultural significance. And the cuisine of a country of course.

When it comes to food, I like to experience the entire spectrum if time permits. I enjoy fine dining. I equally enjoy squatting on a pavement sampling street food. The middle ground too. If I had to pick however, hawker fare wins hands down. As they say, when in Rome, do as the Romans do.

Trying Vietnamese dessert from a street vendor in Hoi An.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Mid-Autumn Festival 2012

I celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival with my extended family every year. On Sunday, we had dinner with my mother's side of the family, spanning four generations, the oldest at 96, the youngest a couple of months old. Three steamboats and lots of food later, we spent time catching up on news and developments in each other's lives, whilst the youngest of the kids went about in the garden with their lanterns.

Occasions as such bring the family closer together. It also makes us appreciate the older folks more, grateful that they are still able to join us for such hearty meals.

Hope everyone had their fill of mooncakes!

Lanterns put up my the kids.